Warrant Officer Francis Raymond Harding

 

 

Francis Raymond Harding was born on 11 July 1889 at Bessbrook, County Armagh, third of eleven children of teacher Arthur Humphry Harding and his wife Jane (formerly Thompson). Educated at the Brookfield Society of Friends Boarding School, by 1911 he was living in Belfast and working as an auctioneer's assistant.

Harding enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 1 and 5 February 1913 (No.802 – later Corps of Hussars No.71109). He embarked for France with F Squadron on 17 November 1915.

In June 1916 F Squadron joined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment. At some point prior to September 1917 Harding was posted to the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

During the war he rose to the rank of squadron sergeant-major (warrant officer class 2).

In early 1919 Harding was one of a number of North Irish Horsemen awarded a Military Medal for gallantry during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918.

He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 20 July 1919.

Harding died on 24 June 1922, aged 32 years. He was buried in the Friends Burial Ground, Belfast.

 

The image shows Harding in November 1914. The full picture can be seen here.